need help! pick school!!!-urgent

Buckle your seat belt this could get bumpy.

lol, I was afraid of that. I hope this thread doesn’t get off topic, like it is right now.

Just for the record, NASAD ( National Association of Schools for Art and Design) was established or order to try to maintain some standards among art programs. Most of the top art programs that you can think of are NASAD accredited such as UCLA, Parsons, RISD, FIT, Pratt, Otis, Mass College of Art, University of Cincinnati, CMU, RIT,Syracuse, Michigan, Laguna,CALARTS, Art Center, Ringling and many others.

Some of the lessor and less notable art programs aren’t NASAD accredited. In fact,the ONLY large stand alone art school that isn’t NASAD accredited to my knowledge is SCAD. Everyone, even SCAD alumni, have wondered why SCAD is noticably absent from NASAD participation. Maybe we will never know. NASAD may not be the be all-end all for art schools. It might not even matter that much among employers. However, it can’t hurt to attend a school that has it!

by the way, here are the benefits of NASAD accreditation as espoused by NASAD:

What does accreditation mean?
Accreditation is a non-governmental system of academic review. It is a process which periodically evaluates and produces an independent judgment by peers about the extent to which an institution or program achieves its own educational objectives and meets the standards established by an Association. Standards address operational and curricular issues fundamental to educational quality.

The granting of accredited Membership by the Commission on Accreditation signifies that an institution has successfully demonstrated compliance with the procedures, standards, and guidelines of the Association. Integral to this voluntary process is ongoing, regularized self-evaluation and peer review.

Accreditation, in practical terms, is a stamp of approval, a sign that an institution ascribes to, believes in, and has met an external set of basic criteria for the programs it offers. In some cases, accreditation assists in the transfer of credits from one institution to another. In all cases, it indicates that threshold standards are adhered to in a fashion that provides a base of academic strength and operational integrity.

SCAD. good program, good weather.

“NASAD allows public universities to get accreditation for just one school/department within the University. For private schools they require the entire school to get NASAD accreditation. There were other schools (performing arts, painting, graphic, interaction, game development, etc, etc) within SCAD that did not want to do this so the Industrial Design Department was unable.”

Taxguy, I believe you mentioned you were not an IDer, but just performing online research and visiting schools. not discrediting your opinion though, it is relevant.

no one has ever mentioned being asked this question at an interview.

the point is… NASAD means nothing as a working individual Industrial Designer or prospective student.
absolutely, 100%, nothing.

yeah, I saw that board before, so thats why I inquire if it really does matter for the future?(…obviously nobody wants to spend cash & 2 years on a program unrecognized by society)

By the way, any idea of RIT’s professor/manufactory equipment? do they privide good co-op for ID?

Anyway, I wanna my graduate study not only focus on creative concept/design esthetics(which I used to think much of), but also get more knowledge about structure/technology in various area & material(especially for plastic/metal which I was not so familiar with before).

As a working designer and an employer I feel that it is your portfolio that speaks for how good you are not some accreditation from the school.

Like everything in life you get out what you put in. If you put your heart and soul into your studies than you are going to come out one hell of a student. If you half ass it than you are going to come out a half ass student.

To that point…All of these schools have their own philosophies and ways of doing things. SCAD is very conceptual based. It was built around a fine arts school and encourages creative thinking but on the other hand it also teaches Manufacturing and process. They have many real world sponsored projects and really try to submerse the students in reality. This is especially true for the Grad program.

As far as the other schools…I can imagine that RIT has a good technical knowledge. I work with many Pkg engineers that went to RIT. Although I know this is a different animal altogether, they do have a good understanding of Pkg materials and processes. I would imagine being a technical school this would be true in the ID department as well.

I hope this helps. Not trying to push SCAD it is just all I know at the moment.

the NASAD criteria are established by IDSA, improving the minimum standards for the practice. it’s assumed and taken for granted.

but our poster is trying to pick a school based on rankings, that’s what’s irrelevent here. A small no-name school with more dedication to students than PR may be the best possible choice, but will never even show up on the radar…

Agree with nospec here. The only thing that matters here is the quality of the education and experience. Beyond that, its the effort the student puts in. This is all just repeated information over and over here on C77. Perhaps a filter to stop posters asking “which school” or the equivalent?

Anyway… DesignCam, the recent ranking of ID grad schools is a hot topic of debate right now. No one ‘really’ knows how they were ranked, by what exacting standards, and how much who paid to be where on the list. Ranking is also irrelevant.

As far as the IDSA / NASAD thing goes… JKolko hit it best months ago…

“IDSA doesn’t accredit programs. However, they wanted to have a baseline for recommending programs, so that Joe’s Bargain Product Design Packing Factory doesn’t get listed alongside RISD. They picked NASAD a few years back, and quickly realized that this doesn’t make a great deal of sense - there are a number of schools that don’t have NASAD accreditation but went through the rigorous process of regional accreditation. Recently - at the last IDSA conference - they announced that they had changed their rules and NASAD accreditation was no longer required.
FWIW, SCAD has held SACS accreditation since approximately 1980”

SACS includes colleges such as Clemson, Duke, Emory, Wesleyan, and more. In that light, its questionable to which accreditation program is actually ‘better’? It’s all bureaucracy, don’t buy into any of it.

NASAD is like a golden star on a preschool report card. :laughing:

Personally, I feel the fine arts environment is more my tipe, and I’m sure I will feel awesome there, I love brainstorming, love analyzing strategy~~Nevertheless, my previous profession experience told me that the more knowledge of structure/technique the better for a designer also, they can make the design maturer, more feasible

I feel its pretty much like that I should pick a school to go on developing my interests/strongpoint VS improve my short part but a little bit boring.

taylorweldon notes,“Taxguy, I believe you mentioned you were not an IDer, but just performing online research and visiting schools. not discrediting your opinion though, it is relevant.
no one has ever mentioned being asked this question at an interview.”

Response: Yes, I am NOT an ID person, although I have used a number of designers in my business. I fully agree that the porfolio and reputation of the designer matters most. However, NASAD is trying to produce improved standards among art and particularly design programs.

It was mentioned that schools like Emory, Duke, Wesleyan aren’t NASAD accredited,but they also don’t have design programs. Almosts every major school of design and design programs are NASAD accredited.

Frankly, if my kid were to get admitted to two comparable schools, with comparable facilities, and one was NASAD accredited and one wasn’t, why not send the kid to the NASAD accredited school? It may or may not help,but it certainly won’t hurt!

…IDSA publicly gave up on NASAD, that should tell you something.

The simple fact are…
-NASAD accreditation is still a golden star which will wash off come the first rain.
-It means 100% nothing to a student, professional Industrial Designer, or prospective employer. It will affect any form of design in the real world.

But we can disagree, thats my stance.

Take care

I wrote NASAD about the benefits of being at a NASAD accredited school. Here is the response that I got. You can take this for whatever you think it is worth:

I am not able to answer your question directly, but I can give you a bit more information about NASAD. It is best to provide an excerpt from our written material:
The Association’s Role as a Specialized, Professional Accrediting Agency
NASAD recognizes the need to find ways of clarifying and maintaining standards in art and design through responsible education of artists and designers. By means of accreditation, it can encourage those institutions that consistently give students a sound basis for significant future accomplishments in art and design. Accreditation also imposes on those institutions the responsibility for continual effort to strengthen art and design education in general—in both accredited and not-yet-accredited schools. In addition, it provides a basis for public recognition of an institution’s quality.

The acceptance of NASAD as the only recognized accrediting agency covering the entire field of art and design has placed upon the Association the following responsibilities: to maintain high educational standards; to safeguard the profession against inadequately prepared educators and practitioners; to disseminate information on accreditation to institutions, counselors, teachers, parents, and students; to guard against improper non-educational pressures on individuals and institutions; and to consider other important educational problems and issues. The Association recognizes and accepts these responsibilities.

Institutions come to us on a voluntary basis. In doing so, they agree to accept the responsibilities as outlined above. They are also subject to periodic review and renewal of accreditation.
The selection of an accredited versus non-accredited institution is strictly a subjective matter.
All institutions develop their own criteria for admissions and transfer policies. While it may be reasonable to expect that credits from an accredited institution would be accepted at another, it is entirely up to the accepting institution.
For comparison purposes it may be helpful to note that NASAD curricular standards require that studies in the major area, supportive courses in art and design, and studies in visual arts/design histories normally total at least 65% of the curriculum.
An institution that accepts peer review and is dedicated to strengthening its programs and helping its students to develop essential competencies is certainly one that accepts its responsibility toward higher education.

I trust that this information will be of some service to you.

A high priced babysitter of design schools.

A forced generalization and ruling the way a university’s internal politics work…
…The entire idea of Industrial Design is built on the grounds of innovation and free thinking.

Who’s to say NASAD’s system is better than anyone else’s?
I believe NASAD is the only one who says so. That’s how they make money as a business.

But now, IDSA has already publicly said NASAD is not the best system, and they gave up on NASAD.

RISD vs Art Center::
different locations,
dining hall,
cost of gas,

Why should RISD and ArtCenter share the same rules?..
They shouldn’t.

NASAD means nothing. Its old news and getting older.

It will be truly interesting when some of the big name schools give up on the restrictions of NASAD and create their own (better) systems independent of a company that gets paid to guide well-established universities.

This argument could go on forever. It already has months ago but just wanted to throw this in there. Here is a list of a few employers of SCAD alumni. I think you may know a few.

Adrenaline Power Boats
• Bombardier
• Buck Knives
• Crown Ltd. Yacht Furniture
• Designworks/BMW
• DMA Automotive
• Eclipse Product Development
• Electrolux
• Estee Lauder Companies
• Euphoria Inc.
• Fisher-Price
• Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.
• Hobie Cat Company
• Hunter Fan
• Intel
• Kickersound
• Kohler
• Lowe’s
• M3 Product Design Consultancy
• Mastercraft
• Midway Games
• Moser Design Group
• New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc.
• OBB Toy Design
• Procter & Gamble
• Regal Boats
• Samsung
• STX Lacrosse
• Sunbergferar
• Target
• Texas Instruments
• Universal Health Services
• Whirlpool
• Ziba Design Consultancy

Funny, I was just on the IDSA web site and didn’t see any public repudiation of NASAD. In fact, they are citing schools that have the accreditation or are applying for it.


In fact, the IDSA site notes that they consult with NASAD about curriculum.


You know like I said in my last post…This argument could go on forever. Both Taylor and I graduated from SCAD and of course we are going to defend our school just like you would defend the school you graduated from. We both have great jobs and as listed above so do many SCAD graduates.

That being said, this was a post from a poster looking for a school to go to and wanted our opinion not to read about NASAD accreditation. I think we should just agree to disagree on this one and let it go. This was argued once before and the bottom line is there are many different opinions on this subject. So can we please just drop it.

from the IDSA website…
“All the schools on this list are, as of November 2006…”
IDSA dropped NASAD after 2006

its old (old) news, man.

I’m dropping it as well.

PackageID, you sure predicted this bumpy ride, ha!


WOW~~~~~~~a lot of posts of NASAD, seems it is such a HOT topic! To be honest, that does worry me & my parent(probably like Taxguy…lol) on some level. But I guess that shouldn’t be a majoy problem for graduate program, right?

Actually, the most headache now is shall I pick a school to go on developing my interests/strongpoint VS to improve my short part but a little bit boring.

Yeah, maybe both should not be a bad idea…but still…when I have to pick one over another…


NASAD will not affect your graduate education either.

-NASAD means absolutely nothing to you, any student, any working professional, any company, or any client. it is a 100% non issue.
no one on Core77 has ever mentioned NASAD even being whispered in regards to their career out in the real world.

-IDSA has literally come out and said they no longer use NASAD as a standard anymore. That’s not my opinion, PackageID’s opinion, or Taxguy’s opinion. That fact should explain a lot.

as far as which side of yourself to develop… good question…

ask yourself what you want to be doing for the rest of your life. (tough question, eh?)

there are many different routes to take in this field; 3D CAD jockeys, design engineers, design managers, sketch monkey, senior designer, softgoods designer, consumer electronics designer, sporting goods designer, car designer…

one school isn’t going to be 100% focused on ‘A’ or ‘B’, it’s not black and white. one will just be slightly more focused on one topic than the other. you will learn all (well, most) aspects of the design process from either school. ask yourself where you see yourself later. what type of office do you want to work in? what role do you want to play?

lastly- this is not a plug for SCAD- I urge you to look at several other schools (especially in California!) - but think about your college education experience, your happiness, and your well being for four years…
I can tell you Rochester is a cold, damp, gray place. Did I mention cold? A very large part of the population is men (if you care about that). Friends of mine who live there call Rochester “The Dirty”. I don’t like to knock on the city, as I have had some serious fun there for 2-3 days on end, but I doubt that would carry through for even 2 months or more…
Check out some other wild, sunny, fun college towns where you can still focus on your education. There are many out there.
I speak of this personally and passionately because I nearly went to a State school up north, and then chose an art school in the south at the very end— it was the single best decision I’ve ever made in my life.

Good luck with your searches, and welcome to Industrial Design.